It was a pleasant surprise to test our Teams meetings features recently: Laser Pointer & Inking features are available in PowerPoint Live! This means it is possible to start laser-pointing your slides, ink on them (in various colors & thicknesses) to highlight the content and of course use highlighter to really stand something out. I can see these tools when sharing a presentation to Teams meeting using PowerPoint Live in Teams Desktop Version.

As a attendee I was only able to see them when using Teams Desktop (web- or mobile-Teams attendee doesn’t see you using laser pointer or inking). This means that you unless you know that everyone is attending your presentation with Teams Desktop Clients then you can use these. Otherwise it will be weird and disconnecting for people attending via other clients.

As this is a brand new feature it is now a great time to collect experiences with this and generate guides / share information to your employees.

What you have available with this:

Cursor – this returns your selection to normal cursor. That cursor is not shown to the audience.
Laser Pointer: shows where your mouse is moving and if you press down the mouse button it will draw a long line until you release the button. Then the line will fade away.
Pen: Allows you to ink to the slide. You can choose the color and pen thickness.
Highlighter: Allows you to highlight content on the slide. You can choose the color and thickness.
Eraser: you can delete your ink on the slide, or you can choose to remove all ink at once.

With these capabilities the PowerPoint Live is starting to look a more and more useful way to present content to the meeting. Combined with Chat Bubbles this is going to make more use of smaller (or single) screen devices when you can present the content, ink to it and also stay up to date with chat easily: without sharing your screen. And no, you don’t need a touch screen for inking since you can use mouse just as easily.

PowerPoint Live tools are starting to look quite good. In addition to these slide tools you have also Live Reactions, Present to Teams and other meeting features available.

Laser Pointer

You can choose your laser pointer color when you click once more on the laser pointer icon as first click selects the tool and second one opens it’s options.

When you keep your mouse button pressed down and move the laser on the slide it will draw a long line that will fade once you release the mouse button. This is great if you don’t want to leave “ink” to the slide.

Pen

Just like laser pointer, the second click on pen opens options. You can to choose the color and thickness.

Highlighter

Highlighter works in the same way as the pen. First click selects, the second one opens options to choose the color & thickness.

Eraser

Eraser deletes the ink from the slide. Clicking (longer press and move mouse a bit) on any inked are gets the ink done with same mouse press removed. It doesn’t remove smaller areas of the ink.

Eraser options ( second click on top of it) allows you to erase all ink on the slide at once.

Conclusion & experiences

Once you stop the presentation there isn’t any question about ink being stored or not. You can stop the presentation and re-share the content and the sometimes is there (it stays). I even left the meeting and rejoined it and the ink was there when I shared the presentation to it. However in other occasion it was wiped away. Ink is not stored to the original presentation either (at least not shown in PowerPoint inside Teams).

Another hiccup I had was that sometimes inking features were not displayed when I shared the PowerPoint to the meeting with Live (although my previous inking was there). And then on the next presentation they were.

This clearly tells that the features is still rolling it. If you don’t see it in your tenant yet don’t worry – it will come. I was able to see this in two of my demo/test tenants and that means that the rollout is progressing quite nicely.

I am really excited about laser pointer and inking capabilities in PowerPoint Live! These effects can live and spice up presentation to be much more captivating and engaging.

I will wait for a while before starting to use these widespread in my events because I want every participant to be able to share the experience. Currently this is only available for those attendees that join with Teams Desktop client.

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MVP for Office Apps & Services (Teams & Collaboration focus), Principal Consultant in Office 365 and Modern Work. Extremely passionate about Microsoft Teams's power to change how people work together. Helping and coaching customers to find benefits, solutions and value when adopting new tools, methods, ways or working and practices into daily work-life equation. I am always eager to challenge current situation and dig out new possibilities and ways to think and work. You could describe me as a jack of all trades but my main focus area and deep personal driver is Microsoft Teams since it has changed the way I work and did a giant step forward to make it possible to work from anywhere - the location does not matter even us much as it mattered before. Microsoft Teams opened the path for many organizations to rethink their practices, worklife, culture and start the change. That's why I am very passionate about Teams.

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